Representation of the Netherlands in Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten
The Representation may be considered an “outpost” of the Netherlands. There is a single Representation with branches in Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
The Representation represents the Netherlands in its dealings with the governments of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. In addition, Dutch nationals who are visiting or residing in these countries can approach the Representation with questions concerning their driving licence, voting rights, or for consular assistance in emergencies.
- advises the Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations on policy concerning Curaçao, St Maarten and Aruba;
- provides information on the policy pursued by the Netherlands by communicating with the Cabinets of the three countries, their civil service organisations and other public institutions;
- reports to the Minister on how the policy has been implemented and received;
- accompanies Dutch ministers, state secretaries and delegations on official visits;
- assists Dutch nationals who have run into difficulties on the islands.
In addition, the Representation has the following duties:
- election-related duties (House of Representatives, European Parliament, referendums);
- to provide information on Dutch driving licences, to request certificates of life, and to request
- application forms for lump-sum benefits paid out to war veterans;
- to provide consular assistance to holders of Dutch passports who reside in the Netherlands and have been arrested in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten (assistance for detainees).
Not for travel documents, visas, or residence/work permits
The Representation is not authorised to issue travel documents or visas or to perform consular acts as referred to in the Chancellery Dues Act (Wet op de Kanselarijrechten). These services are provided by the Cabinet of the Governor of Aruba, the Cabinet of the Governor of Curaçao and the Cabinet of the Governor of St Maarten. The Representation of the Netherlands also does not mediate in applications for a residence or work permit. Please contact the relevant authorities in such cases.
Assistance in emergencies
The Representation assists Dutch nationals who have run into difficulties on Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten, for example owing to an accident or crime. The Representation does not provide cash or loans, but helps victims by contacting their families, friends or the relevant authorities. The provision of consular assistance is not a right. Whether assistance will in fact be provided is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Assistance may be extended to the following:
- Dutch nationals who are not permanent residents of Curaçao, St Maarten or Aruba (European Dutch nationals);
- holders of a valid refugee travel document issued by the Netherlands;
- holders of a valid certificate of identity (“alien’s passport”) issued by the Netherlands.
In some cases the Representation will also assist individuals awaiting deportation because they have been living in Curaçao, St Maarten or Aruba without a valid residence permit.
Certificates of life
A certificate of life is a document confirming that an individual is still alive. Such a document may be required if a person:
- is receiving a benefit or pension from a Dutch institution;
- is receiving a child benefit for his or her school-aged children.
You may ask the Representation to fill in or issue the certificate of life. You must come to the offices of the Representation in person and submit a valid form of identification. If the certificate is for a child benefit, your children must accompany you to the offices of the Representation. You must also submit a valid form of identification for yourself and for your children.
If the certificate of life is for the Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, SVB), then you must ask the SVB in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten to complete it.
Application for Dutch driving licence
A new Dutch driving licence was introduced on 1 October 2006. The new licence replaces the paper driving licence and is more secure. The new driving licence is the size and shape of a bank card. If you are a Dutch national living abroad, you may ask the RDW (the Centre for Vehicle Technology and Information) to issue you a new licence. Please download the relevant form from the RDW website (in Dutch). The form is also available from the Representation.
If you do not have Internet access, you may ask the Representation of the Netherlands in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten for assistance. Staff there will help you fill in a request for an application form.
Every Dutch national who lives abroad may register to vote in Dutch parliamentary elections (for the House of Representatives), European Parliament elections and referendums. In order to qualify to vote, however, you must have lived in the Netherlands for at least ten years.
You can pick up a form to register as a voter from the offices of the Representation. If you are already registered, then the form will be sent to your home address automatically. After completing the form, you must hand it in at the offices of the Representation along with a copy of your valid passport.
On election day, you can vote (by postal ballot) at the office of the Representation. The precise times will be announced in the media.
Assistance for European Dutch nationals who have been arrested
The Representation’s contact person for detainees visits individuals who have been arrested in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten and are being held at the prison in Aruba once a month. The detainee must have a Dutch passport and be a permanent resident of the Netherlands.
During the first visit, the contact person gives the detainee a package containing a number of basic personal care items. If the detainee so desires, the contact person will stay in touch with his or her family. Neither the Representation nor the contact person have anything to do with the legal proceedings.
Lump-sum benefit for war veterans
Ex-servicemen and women, whether they were drafted or volunteered, are eligible to receive a lump-sum benefit of EUR 500, provided that they:
- spent from to two to five years in actual military service between 1 January 1938 and 1 January 1963;
- spent part of that time serving during the Second World War and/or in former Netherlands East Indies, New Guinea or Korea.
Widows/widowers of qualifying veterans may also be eligible for this benefit, as provided for in the relevant Compensatory Benefits Act (Two to Five Years of Military Service, in Dutch). Information on applying for this lump-sum benefit can be requested from the Representation.
Dutch nationals in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten who are unsure which institution they should approach can ask the Representation of the Netherlands in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten respectively for information. The Representation can refer such individuals to the relevant authorities.
You can also send an e-mail to:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Aruba);
- email@example.com (Curaçao);
- firstname.lastname@example.org (St Maarten).